I am an insane online shopper. I feel compelled to find the best deal, the perfect machine, the lowest price, no shipping. And to do all that I have to waste a lot of time. This approach has given me untold amounts of anxiety and worry. So after three weeks of thinking and researching sewing machines, I came up with the following conclusions.
1. I do not need a long arm or a sitting mid arm. I do not do free motion quilting, and I can not see myself ever getting into this. While I love the extra space, I can not see myself endlessly moving rulers. So after looking at George, the new Juki long arm, Sweet 16 (do they really have to call it that?) and the Bernina long arm (which I would have to mortgage my house for) I realized that I really want a different kind of machine.
2. I do not embroider. I do not want to embroider, and I do not need a machine with 400 different stitches.
3. I really really need a continuous reverse stitch. And it is amazing how few machines will go in reverse. I went to one Janome dealer fully expecting to purchase a 7700 which had enough bells and whistles for me. But when I went in, the dealer informed me that those machines no longer have a continuous reverse. I know already that the Juki does not have a continuous reverse, Viking does not- and the harp size is not big enough, but I was told my one salesperson that the Baby Lock or Brother might.
4. I can't buy an industrial machine- and yes I did my research there. The Consew looked intriguing but honestly there is no support for industrial machines. No one to call if I have a question about tension or loading a bobbin.
5. I do too much research. I have diligently spent hours and hours and hours researching the Janome, Juki Pffaf, Babylock, Brother and Viking lines. I looked at each and every website for hours and read dozens of online review, made up a pros and cons list, and visited several dealers to test drive some machines. Some prices were insane, some designs were off-putting, and not surprisingly I was really swayed by brand.
6. Brand gets me every time. As a lady who has lived branding for more years than I care to admit, I just could not get serious about the Brother or Babylock since I think they have weak brands. Unlike Bernina or Viking, I felt like they were too down market for this sewing snob.
So armed with a boatload of information I decided that I would at least look at a Bernina, even though I knew that there was no way I could or wanted to spend upwards of 5-10K on a machine.
I was most interested in the Bernina 550, 710 or 750. I knocked off anything in the 8 series since I just do not want to spend those dollars. I wasn't thrilled by the pricing on the 7 series but thought I would look at it anyway. I traveled to G street Fabrics which is the local Bernina dealer and basically fell in love with the 750. It has 10.25 inches of space between the needle and the machine- which is a whole lot more than I have now. It has a continuous reverse stitch and best of all IT WAS ON SALE. My lucky day- they are replacing the 750s with a newer model and Bernina wants to get rid of this model. It seems that they are no longer shipping new 750s out and the dealer wanted to get rid of the floor model. So I am getting the machine for well under any cost I was able to get online. And just to be sure I called 10 other Bernina dealers to find out there cost of their floor models, and I pretty much struck it rich! So now it is at the technicians since I want to find out how many hours it has been used and they will do a complete service on it before they give it to me.
Yes I am a Bernina snob. My 1630 will still be my baby and she will not be relegated to a dusty shelf. But I have to admit that the Bernina name, and the machine design gets me every time.
I'll let you know how it goes!